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Splish Splash Swim Clinic

I am a high school swimmer in Indiana and a VolunTEEN Nation Ambassador. On Saturday, August 9th, I organized a swim clinic for youth on the Autism spectrum and youth with Down syndrome. It was a blast! We had ten special Olympic athletes and ten volunteer swim instructors. We played water games and had pizza and cupcakes for lunch. In the end, the smile on everyone’s face during the event justified the bumpy road we traveled to make this event happen. I learned three important things from planning this service project.

1. Be persistent! When planning a project, remember there is always a solution to problem even if it takes lots of time to find one! At many points during the project planning process, I was ready to cancel the event several times due to various issues. For example, when I was looking for a pool manager to supervise the clinic, I had a tough time finding someone since this project was two days before the start of school. I was nervous and started to worry. After several discussions with the pool facility director, we decided to ask one of the swim instructors to act as the pool manager. Problem solved! The event occurred without a hitch.

2. Have fun at your service project! Both the volunteers and youth had an amazing time during the clinic. During the clinic, I worked with a girl named Maggie. I witnessed so many smiles on her face as we swam laps together. Her excitement during the clinic was certainly contagious.

3. Social media is powerful! VolunTEEN Nation helped us promote the event and gather volunteers and youth attendees. Lee Lonzo from IHSAA (Indiana High School Athletic Association) came to the event and posted lots of photos from the clinic on Twitter and Facebook. These photos were shared by our swim club and other related organizations.

This swim clinic offered so much to both the Special Olympic swimmers and volunteers. I certainly want to plan another swim clinic. There are a lot of big challenges around the world. To make my community a better place, I want to make an impact using my skill sets and interests.